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Tory Party newsletter urges activists to ‘weaponise fake news’ like Donald Trump

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally - Credit: PA

Subscribers of a Tory Party newsletter in Northamptonshire have been advised to campaign like Donald Trump by “weaponising fake news”.

Activists were told they could “learn lessons” from Trump, adding: “A lie can go round the world before the truth can get its boots on.”

It calls on members to “fight woke-ism” and attacks Labour’s landmark Equality Act, which is designed to stamp out prejudice in the work place.

The newsletter, issued in Peter Bone’s constituency of Wellingborough, sparked a protest from one local Conservative, who says he was then dropped from the candidates’ list for the seat.

Bone campaigned for Brexit in the EU Referendum and is part of the political advisory board of Leave Means Leave.

The candidate, Jack Summers, told the Times that he received threatening phone calls warning him that his political career could come to an end if he did not fall into line.

“I’m not willing to go along with what’s being instructed,” he said.

“This is an attack on democracy. The Conservative Party has changed. It’s not what I joined – it seems more like an English nationalist party than the Conservative Party.”

The bulletin said fake news as a technique “crowds out genuine news” and allows “honest politicians” to be “pushed off the front pages”.

“You say the first thing that comes into your head,” it reads, adding: “It’ll probably be nonsense, but it knocks your opponent out of his stride and takes away his headline.

“You may get a bad headline saying that you spoke something silly, but you can live that down. Meanwhile your opponent is knocked off the news-feed”.

The bulletin concludes: “Sometimes, it is better to give the WRONG answer at the RIGHT time, than the RIGHT answer at the WRONG time.”

The activists said there were lessons to be learnt from the defeated US president.

“If you make enough dubious claims, fast enough, honest speakers are overwhelmed. If someone tweets ten dubious claims per day and it takes you a week to disprove each one, then you are doomed,” it says.

“Trump uses this tactic to dominate the news and to crowd out legitimate politicians.”

On the topic of “Woke-ism”, it read: “Positive discrimination and other forms of officially tolerated racism infuriate many voters.

“An example of the ‘deep state’ woke-ism is the 2010 Equalities Act [sic].

“It actually legalises discrimination in politics based on gender. (Labour put this into the Act because they wanted to discriminate and didn’t want to break their own Law!)”.

The Conservative Party has been asked to comment on the newsletter, issued earlier this month.